Because I am absolutely fascinated by what is in yours.
One of the dismissive accusations that is often thrown at social networking sites, and for the sake of simplicity let us group blogs within that category just for now, is that it’s a big ole pile of self indulgent dullards telling each other what they had for dinner. And who cares what some random stranger who lives half way round the world had for dinner?
This strikes me as an odd question. Primarily because if you spend more than anything more than a rudimentary amount of time following people with shared interests on twitter, or seeking out interesting and well written blogs, you will be aware of the journalistic value and varied and interesting content of both these forms of new media. Essentially this question exposes the person who has asked it as having a badly formed opinion based on no research whatsoever (ironically another claim often made about blog authors).
Social networking provides a truly exciting new way of interacting with people all over the world, from all walks of life, who have fascinating and well informed views on topics from religion and politics to fashion and cookery. At its best it creates sharp, insightful and lively conversation between people that otherwise would never have the chance to take a peep inside each others world. From stand up comics in Jerusalem to Mormons in Utah by way of supermodels in Canada and stylists in Paris.
That being said, naturally there is an element of self-involvement in most blogs; personal photos, diary like descriptions of daily routine, confessional accounts of the trauma of divorce or horrors of grief. And to this I say so what?
Did you never sneak a look at a sibling’s diary? Don’t you look over the shoulders of fellow passengers when they are writing a text message or letter? Do you not love the chance to listen in to conversations between strangers and their friends? And if you have managed to do the right thing (i.e. not be nosy) weren’t you the least bit tempted?
I make no apology for the fact that I am fascinated by other people’s daily routines, personal lives, their love stories, the contents of their handbags, account of their nights out and what they had for dinner. Whether they be scholars from Yale or waitresses from Glasgow, it matters not to me, I love glimpsing into the lives of others.
Blogs do not go through subs and sign off processes, and many do suffer for this. There are thousands of blogs that are sloppily written and give a voice to self-centred droners who really should zip it. But conversely blogs have democratised the world of writing. Every single person, with access to a computer and Internet connection, can have a voice. They can do with that what they will, and you can choose whether or not to listen or move on with just the click of a mouse.